Can I file my small claims case in Sterling County?
You should file your action in the County and specific Precinct where the defendants reside or where the defendant has contracted to perform. (Government Code Section 28.011). Small Claims actions are heard in 1 courthouses throughout Sterling County.
Small Claims Court Clerk
We recommend contacting the Sterling County court clerk before proceeding down to the courthouse to file your action. The clerk is an excellent resource for the procedure for small claims court cases in Texas but also any procedures specific to that County or courthouse. It is recommended that you contact the clerk’s office to ensure the courthouse is open during the hours you want to visit. Remember, the court clerk is trained to assist with procedural questions, but is not able to give legal advice.
How are trials conducted?
Small claims court trials are very informal compared to a regular civil trial. This allows the trials to be conducted in a much more informal fashion. Generally the judge will ask questions to help develop the facts and understand the context and circumstances surrounding the case. A small claims court trial is much quicker, often lasting between 15-20 minutes. A jury trial will likely last longer, probably a few hours.
Do I need to hire an Attorney?
You are allowed to hire an attorney (Texas Government Code Section 28.003), however, most small claims court parties choose to represent themselves. This is largely because the amount at issue in the case is not large enough to justify the hiring of an attorney. You are not required to have an attorney, but you are allowed one. (Government Code 28.003).
A Justice of the Peace for Sterling County hears small claims court cases for Sterling County.
Types of Small Claims Cases
A variety of cases are handled in small claims court. Cases include damages from an automobile accident, a security deposit from a landlord, or breach of a contract. Under Texas law, collections cases and claim assignments cannot be heard in small claims court.
Can I appeal my case?
Yes, but only if the amount in controversy is in excess of $250.
Small Claims Court Jurisdiction
A plaintiff cannot demand more than $10,000 in their action. (Texas Government Code 28.093). Another restriction of small claims court is that a plaintiff can only seek monetary relief (an award of money). You are unable to seek injunctive or equitable relief. Say your landscaper breaks a sprinkler head. You can ask the court for money to replace the sprinkler head, but you cannot ask the court for an order requiring the landscaper to physically replace the sprinkler head. This type of relief would be injunctive relief.
Sterling County Court Locations
The precinct map for Sterling County can be found here.
Countywide Courthouse in the City of Sterling City
This courthouse is located at:P O Box 983 Sterling City, TX 76951